Some time ago, I was asked to present a new business initiative to a big-shot CEO and his senior executive team. I didn’t waste any time and got straight to work. 

Come game day, I made sure that everything was as perfect as could be. The presentation was scheduled at 9:00 AM. I remember this vividly because the CEO and his team walked into the meeting on-the-frigging-dot.

It was at that moment when I greeted them with a massive grin on my face and joked, “My, my! You’re all here at 9:00 on the dot!”

The CEO eyed me up and down and said, “Do you know why I’m here at 9:00 ‘on the dot,’ as you so eloquently put it? It’s because I plan my day to the minute. Now, please, can we get going?”

I nodded and rushed to turn the projector on, took a deep breath, and started. In my head, everything was going to go smoothly.

It didn’t. In fact, the executive presentation went so bad that I didn’t even get to finish. The CEO cut me off mid-way and said, “Thank you for your work, but we don’t have the time for any of this.” He called on his senior executives to follow him and left the room.

What the hell went wrong? I practiced, I designed beautiful slides, and I anticipated every question that could have been asked.

Didn’t I do everything right?

Well, as it turns out, no. I didn’t.

I missed out on a key principle that would have saved me face on so many occasions in front of “important” people.

The Cold, Hard Truth

C-level executives are a tough audience to please because they don’t have time for your crap.

Their schedules are jam-packed with all sorts of important things like meetings, developing company strategies, mitigating organizational risks, and the like.

Presenting to senior executives requires a special kind of approach. And lucky for you, that’s exactly what the Slide Cow team is good at. 

How should you present slides to a CEO? Here are tips that you NEED to know if you want to earn a nod from company bigwigs. Now these are just methods that were useful to me in my career. Take what you can and make them your own. In Today’s covid world with more on line presentations vs. live deliveries you may want to scale to your taste but the core is still relevant.

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